The Red Jacket Diaries blog

Sue Horner is a freelance writer in Oakville, Ontario, who blogs about writing, newsletters, communications and running an independent business in The Red Jacket Diaries blog.

How to make the most of your writer

Keeping up with the pace of change is a juggling act for internal communicators. “Restructures, leadership changes, redundancies, new technology, mergers and acquisitions, office moves – you’re expected to do it all,” as consultant Rachel Miller of All Things IC (internal communication) points out on her blog. Communication pros are expected to be “masters of […]

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4 prospecting strategies that beat cold calling

When I first went out on my own, I cold-called my way through a battered copy of The Canadian Writer’s Market. Although the effort eventually resulted in some freelance writing work, the experience was painful, as I recently recounted. The tactic is unlikely to lead to success these days. Who answers the phone any more? […]

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Cat’s and other apostrophe follies

A blog post suggests that organization’s forget about people. A menu lists stir fry’s. An email warns about using knock off’s rather than original iPhone parts. A gift shop sells a charming sign about Cat’s leaving paw prints on your heart. As Grammar Monster says, “Don’t add an apostrophe to a word just because the […]

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Where’s “Waldo”? Find the human in your stories

When my sons were growing up, books were a big part of our life. One memorable series was Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford. The boys enjoyed scanning the detailed illustrations searching for that one specific individual, the bespectacled Waldo. Company employees are looking for “Waldo,” too. By that I mean any time you want to […]

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How my solo journey unfolded

People are interested in launching their own businesses, but a little nervous about it, too. That’s the not-so-surprising conclusion I took away from this week’s panel discussion about starting an independent business. We had a great turnout, lots of information from the panelists and a lively question-and-answer period at the end. A full report is […]

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Psst! Get the insider view of starting a comms business

Nearly 28 years still seems an improbable amount of time that I’ve been out on my own. Astonishing, even. But LinkedIn has done the math, and assures me Get It Write has been operating 27 years and eight months. Oh sure, luck played a role – and tremendous support from my family – but that […]

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Feathers ‘soft as a whisper’ and more expressive writing

Do you want to explain something complicated, spark a flash of understanding or create a feeling? Reach for analogies. Analogies – metaphors and similes, which show how two things are alike – help readers quickly get your meaning. “Tools such as analogies and metaphors help readers understand something new in terms of what they already […]

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‘Improved experience’? Probably weasel words

Hootsuite has an “improved experience” coming for users. Forgive me for being suspicious (too many years of seeing weasel words in corporate announcements), but I doubt they mean for those of us with free plans. Here’s the message, complete with an odd word choice in the first line; highlighting from the Hemingway app shows most […]

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Back up your files; no, really, do it now

My computer is now back from the shop/hospital/morgue, and you’d be right to say I should have seen this coming. My (formerly) trusty MacBook Pro was ancient, in tech terms – 2010, to be exact. The year sticks in my mind because it was part of my “back to school” supplies for my BA at […]

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Let songwriters inspire your storytelling

You’ll find some of the best storytellers in the music world. Songwriters use lyrics to create a mood or trigger emotion. They are adept at alliteration, and use rhyme and rhythm to help listeners feel the tale behind the tune. Expressive language gets the point across in a compact number of words. My July newsletter […]

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